Noel is pictured following his great win
A County Tipperary man has become just the fourth premier county native to win the oldest and most prestigious cup in the Irish Clay Target Shooting calendar.
Nenagh native, Noel Conroy from Ballinamurragh, Kilruane, joined the elite ranks recently when he was victorious in a final shoot off competition.
The Clay Target Shooting Community in Ireland refer to the Irish Close/Gold Cup as the oldest and most prestigious cup in the Irish Clay Target Shooting Calendar, Clay Target Shooters from both the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete for this each year and have done since 1927.
The event is hosted by the Irish Clay Target Shooting Association each year and took place at the ICTSA National Shooting Ground’s on Sunday August 2, 2020 where 184 competitors took to the Clay Target Trap layouts.
Noel shot the first maximum 100/300 score of the day in the morning wave the first of three waves of 9.30 am 12.30 pm and 3pm.
Another Tipperary man shot a maximum 100/300 in the morning wave also, Christopher Maher from Hollyford, Cashel.
During the second and third waves William Armstrong and Gerry Ellis, both Northern Ireland shooters, came close scoring 100/299s respectfully followed by David Malone and Ronan Morris shooting 100/298s.
At the end of the three wave events, Christopher and Noel were tied with the only two maximum scores shot on the day and so they entered a final shoot off competition where Christopher shot a 24/70 and Noel shot a maximum 25/75 continuing from the morning wave result.
Three other Tipperary men have won the Irish Close /Gold Cup during these preceding ninety three year history of the event.
These are, J.F. Barry from Newtown, Nenagh in 1948. Richard Lewis of Birdhill in 1987 and 1992 plus Noel's neighbour David Goulding of Cloughjordan 2012 and 2015.
Noel is also a member of Cloughjordan, Kilruane, Ardcroney gun club for many years and he has been an Ireland Team Member representing the Ireland DTL “down the line” shooting team internationally since 2017.
He will participate in the remaining ICTSA calendar events during the remainder of the 2020 and says he is looking forward to these and the DTL Shooting World Championships week to be held in June 2021.
These will take place in Byewell, Northumberland, England where the elite of the worlds DTL shooters will gather to shoot for the Dougal Memorial Trophy followed be the English Open Championship and finally the three day World Championships in what will be a week of competitive shooting events.